How I became more than “just” a mom.

How I became more than “just” a mom.

Finding your passion is life changing 

Not "just" a mom.
I am more than a butt and booger wiper. 

For the past 17 years I’ve been “just” a stay at home mom. I had an occasional job here and there but nothing of substance. When I was a little girl I used to say that I never wanted kids. I wanted to be an FBI agent and study the minds of criminals.  I was going to have a high power job and be a boss.  I was never going to have time for kids.  

I graduated high school a year early and started college.  I met my husband who was a submarine officer, who graduated from the Naval Academy. I had my first baby at age 23. Long story short, we moved from state to state with the Navy and four kids later, I found myself as a stay at home mom.

You see, during these last 17 years I have always been known as “Paityn’s mom”, “Guys wife“, “Lt. Glennon's wife”.  I never finished college, which as you can imagine lead to very embarrassing conversations with high ranking officer wives in the military. “Oh where did you go to college, where do you work?” 9/10 I’d lie because I was ashamed to say I never finished college. I was “just a stay at home mom!” I would get pregnant and take a break from college.  I ended up being a career college student. 

I begin to feel restless, anxious and lost. I am now 40 and done with being “just a mom”. I finally started to chip away at what my true passions are. Who i am as a person. Finding my identity outside of someone’s wife and mother. It is a slow and tedious process. But I am learning more every day.  I am figuring out what my purpose is. Taking back time for myself and my mental well being, my hobbies and I’m learning how to make an income while being a stay at home mom. 

It is possible to have your cake AND eat it too. You can have your own identity and be so much more than “just a mom!”  Check out my amazing community of moms in this group I created on facebook.  

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10 reasons why you should stop caring what others think.

10 reasons why you should stop caring what others think.

girl thinking deep

Tracy spent years considering what other people would think of her before she made any decisions. She worried about which college her mother would approve of and which career path would make people want to be friends with her. 

She chose vacation destinations based on how they would look to her social media followers, rather than what she really wanted to do. She picked her child’s daycare after listening to her friends, rather than trusting her own gut.

As a result, Tracy often found it difficult to make decisions and she rarely felt happy with her life. There were moments it almost seemed as if everyone else were making her decisions for her.

When Tracy read a quote by Lao Tzu, it changed her life. He said, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

1. You Know What You Need

When you’re making an important life decision, it’s natural to feel a bit confused or overwhelmed. You may bring in others in the hopes that they’ll guide you into making the best decision. Often, this is driven by a need for approval and a lack of confidence in yourself.

But everything you already need to make the right decision—the best decision for you—is within yourself. You know what you need. You know what option falls in line with your values. You know what will ultimately make you happiest.

2. Give Yourself Space to Grow

While friends and family can sometimes be a great feedback loop, the truth is that most of your loved ones want you to stay safe. That means they’ll often discourage you from taking new leaps and experimenting. It’s not that they are trying to be unkind. They simply want to spare you disappointment and pain.

It’s hard to grow into the person you want to be if you’re always checking in with one hundred other “co-pilots” who weigh in on the various aspects of your life. The truth is, at some point, you must stop taking what everyone else wants into consideration. If you’re truly going to grow, you must give yourself the gift of space.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

Another problem with constantly seeking approval from those around you is that all of the opinions you seek will rarely be in harmony. For example, you want to go back to college and finish your degree.

Your mother may be hugely supportive of this idea while your friend points out that your degree won’t help you on your current career path. Your partner may be concerned about you spending time away from your family.

In these situations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and wonder who you should listen to. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t please everyone. Sure, you might be able to please a few people sometimes. But you can’t satisfy everyone (and you don’t have to try!).

4. You Have to Live with the Results

Ultimately, you’re the one who has to live with the decisions that are made. You’re the one that bears out the consequences of your actions—regardless of who inspired or pushed you towards that path.

This is why it’s so important to consider your choices carefully and block out the voices of others. These other people may love you and want what’s best for you, but they aren’t the ones that are living out that choice.

5. Your Dreams Are Worth Fighting For

You have hopes, dreams, goals, and ambitions. Some of these may be big, bright beautiful dreams that you won’t pursue because you chose another path. But some of these dreams you may never pursue simply because you’re too busy listening to everyone else, instead of your own voice.

Sarah had a job she hated, working for an ad agency. She liked her co-workers and her boss. Her pay was great and she loved the benefits the company provided. But not being able to choose her own projects was stifling Sarah’s creativity.

Finally, after a few months, Sarah began to consider the possibility of becoming a freelance graphic designer. She asked a few close family members to weigh in on her new decision. 

Each one discouraged her from taking action for various reasons—the instability of the economy, the health insurance package she had, and the fact that she actually liked her co-workers.

Sarah was almost ready to give up until her husband told her to fight for her new dream. He convinced her that taking action—even if her new career path didn’t work out—was better than forever living with the regret of not having tried.

6. Your Creativity Is Unleashed

When you let go of needing the approval of others and stop caring what they think, something amazing happens. Your own creativity is unleashed in exciting, new ways.

Now maybe you don’t consider yourself a creative person. You don’t paint or draw or write. But when you give yourself the freedom to walk away from the prison of opinion, then suddenly the world opens up with possibilities. You see all the things you could do and all the things you could become. Your life truly feels like your own!

7. You Are Free to Accept Yourself

After you let go of what other people think, you’re free to acknowledge who you truly are. You can step into your identity without worrying about what others think about who you are now. 

You can stand there and proudly proclaim, “This is me.” There’s something profoundly satisfying about knowing who you are and accepting that person, flaws and all.

8. You Redefine Success

When you live by committee, someone else determines what “success” looks like. Maybe to your parents, success looks like a mortgage and two kids. Perhaps to your cousins, success looks like a prestigious law degree and a corner office.

But if you’re always chasing someone else’s definition of success, you’re likely to end up burned out and frustrated, even if you do manage to succeed.

It’s far better to take a step back and ask yourself, “What does success look like to me?” Keep in mind when asking this question that there’s no right or wrong definition here. You might define success as being able to live in an RV nine months out of the year while homeschooling your three kids. You might define success as the ability to write books and self-publish them. Define success on your terms!

9. You Gain New Confidence

Perhaps the biggest benefit of walking away from the opinion of others is that you gain new confidence in your abilities. You finally realize that you have the power to make smart decisions that honor who you are.

The result is a boost of confidence. The more you become confident in yourself, the easier it becomes to embrace your own voice and discover what you truly want out of your life.

10. It’s Time to Try Something New

If you’ve spent years worrying about what others think and fretting over the opinions of those around you, the idea of letting go may seem radical to you. In fact, it can be downright scary. But think of it like a journey and make baby steps toward letting go. 

Just like you have to practice riding a bike, you have to practice making decisions by yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll realize just how awesome you are!

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9 surprisingly natural ways to beat stress and anxiety.

9 surprisingly natural ways to beat stress and anxiety.

We are all to familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of stress and anxiety.  Your heart races, palms sweat, nausea, maybe even dizziness.  Something has triggered your fight or flight response.  Sometimes it is something so out of left field and sometimes it is something that happens regularly.  A trigger that sets your emotions into a frenzy.  Having dealt with anxiety my whole life I have come up with 9 surprisingly easy and natural ways to manage stress and anxiety.  

1.Vitamins and supplements 

Often times our bodies are missing essential vitamins.  This may seem like something so simple but it is often overlooked. One to consider is vitamin D.  With sunscreen in lots of products it is very well possible you can be deficient in Vitamin D.  The sun is what helps our vitamin D levels.  Check with you healthcare provider for testing to make sure you are not lacking important vitamins.

2. Cut back on caffeine and sugar
Don't kill the messanger ;)
I know, I know.  Coffee and sugar are the life blood for us moms.  However too much of it can wreck havoc on our bodies. Caffeine is a stimulant.  Stimulants can increase anxiety.  Talk to your health care professional about sugar alternatives. Some are better than others.  I will let you in on a little secret.  I was a HUGE soda lover.  Coca-Cola to be exact.  The way I kicked my soda habit was to switch to flavored soda water and adding a splash of juice.  Then you are getting the fizzy bubbles thats in soda and a little sweetness from the juice.  Eventually I was able to switch just to flavored sugar free soda waters.  Another great option is my red drink.  If you know you know. Click this link to read about it.   ;)

3.Stress management

Lots of our everyday anxiety is self-induced.  We mean well but just can't say "No". Make sure that when someone asks you to volunteer, make sure that it is something you love and will feel fulfillment.  Over-scheduling, clutter, making promises that are near impossible to keep and poor boundaries are among the culprits. Having so much on your plate can start to feel like tug of war.  People pulling at you from all directions.  Take a look at your priorities and get control of your schedule and life. 

4. Self Care

 People who have trouble saying ‘no’ or being assertive often place others’ needs before their own. Mothers are usually at the top of the list for poor self care. When you take a flight, what is the first thing the flight attendants tell you?  “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”  Try to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you will be less effective as a parent, spouse/partner, employee and friend.  Some of my favorite self-care activities are reading in my devotional book.  Every morning I wake up about 10 minutes before everyone else, grab a cup of coffee and read one chapter in my daily devotional. Those few minutes of "me time" have become my favorite part of the day.  

5. Exercise
Exercise is a fabulous stress reducer.  Studies show that just 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week can lower your anxiety. When stress affects the brain your body feels it.  It only makes sense that if your body feels better then your brain will too. Another great option for exercise is yoga.  Something as little as 5 minutes a day will have an impact on your stress and anxiety levels.  

6. Eat Clean 

It only stands to reason that if your diet is filled with highly processed foods, fast food and other less than healthy foods, then it is bound to have a negative impact on your daily life.  Although there are no specific studies to show which diet will help anxiety managing what you eat can help.  The connection between nutrition and mental health is critical. You may need to begin with supplements to get back on track, but if you eat more fruits and veggies, you will begin to get the nutrients you require for good health and mental health with less supplements. Fast food and restaurant eating should be avoided most of the time, and chosen carefully if you decide to indulge. Explore food allergies or sensitivities – it can make a huge difference.  

7. Stop the negative thoughts
Most people with anxiety have a barrage of worried, anxious, critical and/or
intrusive thoughts running through their minds endlessly. These thoughts create much of the distress we experience. Don't let your thoughts turn into a self full-filling prophecy. Learn ways to manage these thoughts. A great way to start is by using daily affirmations. Once you get the underlying causes of anxiety under control, this may get easier. Have you heard of Joy Triggers? If not you can read about it here.  

8. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfullness is the practice of living in the moment.  Being fully engaged and completely free from distractions.  I challenge you to stop and think about how many times you are actually present in the moment.  I think you will be surprised at how often your thoughts race to what is happening tomorrow or what happened yesterday.  

9. Deep breathing exercises

People that suffer with anxiety often take shallow, quick breaths from the top of their chests. This type of breathing can worsen anxiety symptoms.  Learn to take deep, belly breaths to calm yourself and to breathe slower. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stop and take 3 deep breaths. I can promise you that you will feel more relaxed.

I hope these 9 surprisingly easy ways to deal with stress and anxiety help you.  The next time that feeling of stress or anxiety starts to creep in try one of these 9 things mentioned above.  I am no therapist or mental health professional.  These are tips and tricks that have helped myself and my daughter.  We both struggle with anxiety.  I would love to have you join my amazing facebook group.  Where we talk about the challenges of mental health and how we can all support and lean on each other.  You can find us over in Moms Seeking Purpose.  I'd love to have you.  
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Joy Triggers: Instant happiness when you need it the most.

Joy Triggers: Instant happiness when you need it the most.
It’s time to start looking for Joy Triggers. Given what’s happening in today’s world I am starting to feel like I am surrounded by negativity and doom and gloom. Murder Hornets, that other thing that shall remain nameless.  Masks, social distancing. Things I never thought we’d be dealing with in 2020. It is so easy to fall into a pattern of negativity.

It is so so easy to slip into a pattern of pessimism. It’s like falling down a rabbit hole you can never get out. The first few days of quarantine I felt ok. As the days went on however, things became increasingly hard.   I started to notice a trend on social media. Illness, social isolation, loneliness and an all around bad vibe. It felt like I was being swallowed up by a dark cloud.
Enter joy triggers.

Ariana Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global spoke about this in an interview.  "It’s not enough to be productive, it’s not enough to be successful, I need my joy triggers. Joy triggers are not rational. Bring them into your daily life, because I really believe that ... it’s all a part of how we can bring balance into our life... getting joy from simple (but beautiful) things — scents and sights and tastes."

Joy triggers are the tiny things in life that bring you joy.  The scent that reminds you of your favorite relative.  The rainbow you see after a storm.  Watching your kids run after bubbles squealing with happiness.  Petting a dog.  Quick chat with a friend online.  That first sip of coffee in the morning.  Recently in an effort to have some normalcy I started taking a daily walk.  As I was out walking I noticed lots of chalk drawings.  It always made me smile.  Some of the most amazing chalk arts I saw

Being more mindful of these joy triggers is key.  Being present in the moment.  I highly suggest having a journal or note in your phone titled joy triggers.  Write these things down or type them in your notepad as they happen.  Reflect upon them when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious.  In a perfect world your joy triggers would be something that is simple to do and easily replicate-able.  What I mean is that when you are feeling down, sad, or anxious you can quickly reflect back to those triggers and hopefully it will help you continue on your day in a more joyful and peaceful way.  

What are a few of your joy triggers?  Remember that "quick chat with an online friend" I mentioned above.  I have a place where you can chat with other moms.  Some of my best friends I have only met "online" and they spark the biggest Joy trigger ever.  I'd love to have you join us here.  
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Gift ideas for the Semi-Crunchy mama

Gift ideas for the Semi-Crunchy mama

Here Ye, Here Ye!  Husbands, DADS, Sons, Brothers, Friends, Co-Workers....I am talking to you.  

Cough Cough.  In case you have forgotten Mothers Day is on May 10th.  That is exactly 11 days away.  Don't wake up the day of and realize you forgot to get that special person in your life something.  Since we are under extraordinary times I am making this super simple for you.  All online shopping.  You're welcome.  

FYI, your kids will not be bringing home handmade Mother's Day gifts from school.  You have 11 days.  

Mother's day is the 1 day out of 365 days mom's want to feel special.  The day we don't have to wipe so many butts.  The day we don't have to hide in the closet to eat chocolate chips, the day we don't have to be the sole boo-boo kisser, the day we don't have to fix dinner, clean up said dinner and do all the other things we have to do day in and day out.  

1.  Yeti Mug.  How many times a dang day do we have to microwave our coffee?!  Not today Satan.  Not on my watch.  

2.  Snarky Cross Stitch Kit. Ok hear me out.  When all day long we do crafts with kids, for kids, for kids school work, there comes a time when we want to sit with a glass of wine and do a craft of our own.  And what better way than a snarky one.  We can't say WTF to our kids but we sure can cross stitch it.  

3. Fully Customizable Stainless Steel Glitter tumbler.  Yes, your mama needs this.  When she is sitting at 115 sporting events, carpool, dance recitals and so much more.  She needs a cup to keep her drink cold.  Promise.  She needs this. 

4.  Jade Roller.  This bad boy packs a punch.  When mom has been up all night with a screaming baby or she hasn't slept much because online schooling is driving her crazy she can roll this under her eyes and it is instantly refreshing.  Even better, pop it in the fridge and it helps de-puff under eye bags.  

5.  Instant Pot.  If you haven't jumped on the instant pot bandwagon yet, you are seriously missing out.  Swear.  She needs this.  Check out Skinnytaste for all her amazing instant pot recipes.  

6. Essential Oils, Basic Starter kit I know what your thinking.  "my mama doesn't need that crazy voo-doo stuff" However that crazy "voo-doo" stuff is pure magical plant juice.  Let her be the judge of that.  

7.  Red Drink.  The red drink is pretty much like drinking the produce aisle.  Mama is busy.  She is so busy that 9/10 she has taken care of everyone else and herself last.  Again, not today satan.  Ningxia Red

8.  Barefoot Dreams Blanket.  Now, I know this is a splurge.  But its your mama and she is WORTH it!  Let her cozy up on the couch with netflix and this blanket and relax.  

9.  Daily Devotional.  This book has taught me to slow down and take time for myself.  Every morning, I get up 5-10 minutes before everyone else and read my daily devotional book.  It has been the best "me time" I have gotten.  

10.  Barefoot Dreams Robe.  The softest robe you will ever feel in your life.  

And that's it friends.  Don't forget that special mama in your life.  She deserves all the love on her special day.  

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